You ever come across a headline that you know the writer has cast out and let it dangle like bait, hook and all, just floating there for you to click it?
Yogis Bare All For Enlightenment
This was just the type of shiny spinner bait I could not resist. I would like to think it was my intellectual curiosity that was yearning to know exactly what the yogis were baring, in what kind of class… and oh yeah, enlightenment is great to. But truth be told it was equal parts the giggling thirteen year old that still resides in the recesses of my mind. He wanted to see just how bad (as in car wreck) or bad (as in downward dog in the buff) it might be.
The pictures were tasteful and PG at best. It was clear these folks not only practiced yoga but also followed strict diet and personal hygiene regimens. I couldn’t help but think it was a lot like Dancing With the Stars, the participants seemed to be preselected for the photo shoot as not to distract or disturb the reader. I mean nobody would tune into Dancing With the Morbidly Obese, would they?
That wasn’t really the story though. These Yogis felt that there was a clarity of mind found in stripping away the materialistic coverings of this world by stripping off ones yoga pants. (Side note: is there really that much of a difference?)
I couldn’t help but recall the horrors of Junior High Basketball. For some reason alternate color tank tops weren’t in the athletic budget so we spent our seventh grade practices dividing up into shirts and “skins”. The coach seemed to take pleasure in making sure the “skins” team had equal parts big boned boys like me and Adonis like man children so that everyone was able to draw there own comparisons. With only one gym, the girls team was generally waiting on us to finish up practice by the time we scrimmaged. The mental image of me galloping down court shirtless on a not so fast break still haunts me to this day. It was an disturbing mix of the opening scenes of Bay Watch and the Truffle Shuffle.
There was nothing liberating or enlightening about being exposed for all to see. Even shared moments like going to the pool or a water park did not bring me closer to those around me sharing in a public bath. I’ll grant you that there is a certain exhilaration when you run from the bathroom to your bedroom in your birthday suit but I assume that is more so latent exhibitionism vice enlightenment.
I read on, hoping there might be something to swing my opinion on yoga in the nude…. or yoga for that matter. It all seemed to hinge on the fact that ridding oneself of the worldly barrier that clothing provided helped them to reach a new level of equality. But if you put me next to Brad Pitt shirtless I don’t think I will feel more his equal and he would just feel awkward but we do have a lot in common anyway, he’s from Missouri you know.
At the end of the day I kind of like the security my clothes provide. I am reminded of that every time I get out of the shower at a hotel, the last thing I want to see is my naked body reflected back at me in a huge mirror. I guess I can add the reflection of a dozen people that look like me in a full length mirror to the last thing I want to see. To me that wouldn’t be enlightening… more like purgatory.